“42” Jackie Robinson Movie
“42” Jackie Robinson: Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman
Written by Kelli Gillespie
He was a hero to many, and a game-changer to all. Jackie Robinson forever transformed the game of baseball and it was accomplished with the visionary General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey. Both men were Christians and had a faith that helped them to have the courage and stamina to carry out the calling God placed on their lives. Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman star as the duo on-screen and Risen talked with them about racial barriers, religion, mentors and more.
Interviewed for Risen Magazine at Sports Museum of Los Angeles, California
Risen Magazine: What did your rise in the film industry look like? Was there a mentorship similar to Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, or was it something you had to figure out on your own?
Harrison Ford: Nothing that is an exact parallel to the story in the film. Of course I depended on people with more understanding, or more experience than I had, as I was first entering the business to give me guidance and help me understand how to navigate the waters. But, I think you just learn from experience.
Risen Magazine: Branch Rickey’s Methodist background played an integral part in who he was and what he did. How did you view his faith?
Harrison Ford: I think his faith led him to a sense of moral justice and belief in equality among men. His faith sustained him in his ambition to bring racial justice into baseball and into America.
Risen Magazine: During this period in baseball, these guys were continually tested. Was there a time you felt really tested and preserved through?
Harrison Ford: I think the tests that really count are the ones you impose on yourself. The ambitions, goals, and standards you set for yourself, [along with] the devotion to bettering yourself and your value to others, [these] are all important investments.
Risen Magazine: More than just baseball fans consider Jackie Robinson a role model. What do you think it takes to be a good role model and who has been that for you?
Chadwick Boseman: My parents are definitely role models. I’ve had [role model] teachers and coaches, to be honest with you; I have a lot of them. I think you just look for people that stand for something. They are willing to give their life for something they believe in. I think that is the key.
Risen Magazine: “God built me to last.” This is a phrase we hear Jackie Robinson say often. How do you think his Christian background shaped his approach to life?
Chadwick Boseman: I think Jackie Robinson’s religion – his spirituality – is what helped him to endure this. There is no doubt about it. Because he believed in God, he believed that there was certain providence [on his life,] in him being chosen, in the timing… many are called, but few are chosen… One of the fruits of the [Holy] Spirit is self-control [Referencing Galatians 5:22-23.] He had to have all of them [the fruits] – patience, love, gentleness, brotherly kindness, charity – but the self-control comes from going through the fire [tough times and tribulation.] I feel like it’s because he had God in him that he was able to make it through this.
Interview originally published in Risen Magazine, Summer 2013
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